Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is based on research by Kristin Neff, integrated with the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer. MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential inter-relatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm, connected, presence.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others and be more authentically ourselves.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.
What to expect
The two teachers will guide the mindfulness, loving-kindness and self-compassion practices, and will remain mostly in silence so you can deeply explore and learn as much as possible from your own experience of these.
The first evening will be an orientation session. For the rest of the four and a half days, the practices in the mornings and afternoons will include alternate sitting or lying and movement practices that you will have learned and practised on your mindful self-compassion course. For this time on retreat, we will be practising meditations to enhance and deepen our mindfulness, loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.
In addition, there will be a silent early morning practice before breakfast. In the evenings the teachers will offer talks to help you relate experientially to the following day’s practices. You will also have at least one individual interview with a teacher where you can discuss your practice, and how you are finding the retreat.
“Just a heartfelt thank you – I can’t imagine it done any better”
How will this retreat help to deepen self-compassion?
The emphasis of the retreat will be on looking after ourselves, and on nourishing our compassion both through our practice, and through time for relaxation. We will be spending plenty of practice time outside.
Who is the retreat for?
The retreat is for those who want to develop or deepen their capacity to relate more kindly to themselves and their experience, through immersing themselves in continuity of practice in the retreat setting.
It would be helpful if you have already experienced a silent retreat of at least one day (or the half-day mindful self-compassion retreat), but if not, please apply, and we’ll discuss your application with you.
The retreat meets the requirement to have sat a five-day, silent, teacher-led retreat
The next retreat is being held ONLINE VIA ZOOM 25th - 29th October 2020